- 159,00 kr
A magnet for bullies at school, Jon Finkel grew up heckled and hazed until he discovered the trading-card game Magic: The Gathering. As Magic exploded from nerdy obsession into the mainstream, the teenage Finkel emerged as its first world champion.
The young shark - now known to his friends and rivals as Jonny Magic - moved on to storm poker rooms, from the underground clubs of New York City to high-stakes tables online, until he landed on the largest card counting blackjack team in the country, taking Vegas for millions and becoming one of the biggest players in town.
Finally, they took on the biggest game of all - the World Series of Poker...
A fat, gross, know-it-all teen whom bullies urinated upon, Jon Finkel found his calling as a champion of the Dungeons-and-Dragons-with-a-deck-of-cards fantasy game known as Magic: the Gathering. His mental acuity honed by the complex card game, Finkel went on, with his cohort of Magic cronies, to conquer grown-up gambling as a blackjack card-counter, sports bettor and tournament-caliber Texas Hold-'em poker player. Journalist Kushner, author of Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture, treats Finkel's saga as a journey toward self-knowledge and manhood, as he loses weight, starts scoring babes (with the help of arcane womanizing strategies gleaned from PickUpGuide.com) and develops the stoic grace under pressure that defines mature masculinity. It also symbolizes the liberation struggle of dorky "young brainiacs" who are "ridiculed, stomped and beaten" for their intellect and find solidarity and empowerment through fantasy gaming and online wagering. The author flogs his revenge of the nerds theme half to death, even after the nerd has metamorphosed into a sleek, wealthy professional gambler ("here he was, once again, being beaten down by the system for being too smart," Kushner rails after Finkel has a run-in with tribal casino officials), and his celebration of gambling's socially sterile, zero-sum path to personal growth tastes a little rancid. Still, his tour through the colorful subcultures of fantasy gaming and casino gambling makes for a lively, if somewhat pulpy, picaresque.